We’ve all been there: you smartphone suddenly stops working, slowing down to the point where it’s unusable. If there’s something wrong with your smartphone, it may be time for a hard reset to restore the factory settings. Restoring your smartphone can sound intimidating, but is actually a pretty simple process if you follow a tutorial for how to reset your phone.
But if you’re not sure whether you really need to do a reset or just get a new smartphone, here are five things to consider first.
You’ve been hacked?
Hacking is on the rise with no signs of slowing down, but people still aren’t taking necessary precautions to safeguard their phones. According to Pew Research, 28 percent of smartphone owners say they don’t use a screen lock or any other security features to protect their phone, and only 40 percent update their software when it’s convenient for them. A hack can take our smartphones offline and expose our most sensitive data and information.
If you suspect you’ve been hacked or have seen evidence of your device being compromised, immediately restoring your smartphone can help minimize the damage and cut off the hacker in his tracks. Take precautions restoring any previous backups with third-party apps, as they could be the target of hackers. Back-up only the necessary data and reinstall any must-have apps from scratch.
You want to start fresh
Regardless of if a hacker has compromised your device, sometimes you just want to wipe your data to start over fresh. Once you’ve had your device for a few years, you’ll likely have collected apps and media that you no longer need. It’s easier to restore your phone than deleting everything individually.
You want to increase your device performance
If your smartphone feels sluggish and less than optimized, you may not need a new one just yet. Over time, our smartphones can get bogged down with too many apps, patches, and media. Try backing up your phone and restoring it before you ditch it altogether and invest in something new.
Chances are your apps are also clogging up your storage, as well as slowing down your device performance. Like our other suggestions above, just restore the apps you really need and slowly add on as you go to narrow down the offenders.
You’re trying to repair it
Sometimes smartphones end up with malicious software or a corrupt app and it’s difficult to identify what’s going on and why it’s suddenly not working correctly. Before you take it to a repair shop and get hit with a costly bill, try restoring it first.
Restoring your smartphone to factory settings creates a blank slate so you can start over with the latest operating system software, patches, and apps. Restoring your phone can also help you figure out if it just needed that hard reset or the help of an expert to get it up and running.
You’re transferring ownership
It’s become commonplace to transfer the ownership of a smartphone to a friend or family member once you’re ready for an upgrade. Although the gesture is a generous one, it can create issues. Leaving your data, apps, and media on an old smartphone leaves them susceptible to data theft. Even if the person you’re transferring the smartphone to is a trustworthy person, that doesn’t mean your old phone can’t be hacked.
Wipe the phone clean with a hard reset before you transfer the ownership of your phone so none of your data is compromised or comingled with the new owner. You’ll walk away with peace of mind that your phone is clean and ready for someone new.
There are plenty of reasons to restore your smartphone, but very few not to. Keeping your data safe and your device optimized should be a top priority.